2015 Pisoni "Estate" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1323956 96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 Pinot Noir comes mostly from the exposed ridges of the Pisoni Vineyard, which is unquestionably one of the gems in the appellation, as well as in all California. The 2015 is a more elegant, finesse driven example of this cuvee than normal and is a thrillingly complex, nuanced Pinot Noir I wish every reader could taste. Fermented with 20-25% whole clusters and aged in 60-65% new French oak, it offers a great bouquet of black raspberries, spring flowers, crushed violets, spice and subtle minerality. Medium to full-bodied, silky, and incredibly long, it's a world class Pinot Noir to drink over the coming decade. (JD)  (7/2017)

95 points Vinous

 (made with 25% whole clusters and raised in 75% new French oak): Bright ruby-red. Intense, highly perfumed aromas of black raspberry, cherry-cola, spicecake and incense, with a powerful floral overtone. Juicy and expansive on the palate, offering powerful red and blue fruit, rose pastille and five-spice powder flavors that become more energetic with air. Closes on a suave floral note, with superb thrust, lingering floral character and sneaky tannins that merge smoothly into the wine's energetic fruit. This wine's marriage of power and vivacity is outstanding. (JR)  (11/2017)

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Price: $84.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Lucia Highlands